Tag Archive | virtual book tour

Book Review: The World Below by Mike Phillips

The following is a guest post by Mike Phillips who talks about the all important book cover. Keep reading for my review of Mr. Phillips’ new book, The World Below.

Why Book Covers Are So Important

         There’s this saying, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ but let’s face it, it happens.  When searching for a book the first thing someone is going to notice is the cover.  The cover can then draw that person into reading the synopsis.  If the synopsis and the cover draw the reader in, they could possibly buy it or put it on their to-be-read list.

My own personal experience with a cover design came with Uniquely Unwelcome.  The first edition cover was a hand drawing of a girl looking up at an eagle.  While it was a nice drawing, it just wasn’t up to par with other Fantasy covers.  It became very apparent to me, especially after a few readers recommended that I change the cover, that a change was indeed needed.

Why did I decide to use a hand drawing?  Well it was kind of a dream of mine.  My husband is a great artist.  He’s also my support system.  Whenever I’m frustrated, stuck on an idea, or just at a complete loss, he’s there.  I wanted to pay some tribute to his support and so I thought I would have him do my first cover.  From there, I would go with the “traditional covers” but for my first publication I wanted to incorporate him in some way.

My lesson from that, sometimes we have to let go of the smaller dreams/goals to reach the bigger ones.  I felt guilty I guess you could say when I told him I thought it was best if we changed the cover.  Being a great supporter like he is, he agreed.  He was honored that I had tried and that I had even used his art to begin with.  So together we picked out the cover for Uniquely Unwelcome and then again with Blood Burdens.

So yes, books are judged by their covers.  I’m not saying that every person does this, but most probably do.  I’m happy with the new cover for Uniquely Unwelcome and have a paperback edition of both the first edition with my husband’s cover design and the newer edition so I at least have a small token of my little dream.

Horror/Urban Fantasy
Date Published: 4/1/2013

In ancient times, magical creatures inhabited the earth. They lived on mountaintops, in trees, at  the bottom of lakes and rivers. But that was long ago, before the human race declared war on the creatures they feared and hated. Now the enchanted peoples are all but gone. Those few that remain fear being stretched out on an examination table in some secret, governmental facility.

The only place they can hide from the ever increasing number of satellites and smart phones is in the World Below.  Mitch Hardy is going through a hard time in his life. In his early twenties, he was working his way through college when he suffered an accident that left him flat broke and physically deformed. When Mitch decides to make a fresh start in a new town, things start looking up. He finds a place to live, a decent job, good friends. He even meets a nice girl. Unknown to Mitch, his new girlfriend is one of the Elder Race, what some call the Faerie Folk. Mitch doesn’t know that Elizabeth is looking for a father she never knew. The key to finding him is somehow tied up with the mysterious Blade of Caro. Desperate, she steals the Blade from its protector, the despotic ruler of the World Below, the Dragon of Worms, Baron Finkbeiner. When Elizabeth is kidnapped by the Baron, Mitch is pulled into a world or magic and monsters he never imagined.

 REVIEW

 This was a very riveting book. I really got to feel for Mitch and started rooting for him early on. He’s a hero in every sense of the word, his instincts kicking in any time a friend, stranger or animal is in trouble without giving any thought to his own safety or wellbeing. Some may think Mitch is an idiot since his sense of self preservation appears to be broken but this actually endeared him to me. Hume is another character I grew to love almost immediately. He’s essentially a bad guy for going out to do the Goblin King’s bidding but as his sister is being held captive and it’s obvious the man doesn’t like what he has to do while at the same time trying figure out a way to rescue her from his enemy you start rooting for him too. All the characters are likable, with the exception of Elizabeth, who I found to be fairly manipulative and scheming personally, and I adored the story. It’s a nice blend of fantasy and reality and I can’t wait to start reading the rest of the series. If you’re a fan of Sci-fi/Fantasy stories like Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series I think you’ll love The World Below.

*This review is part of Reading Addiction Blog Tours who supplied me with a free copy and is unbiased, unsolicited and unpaid.
Virtual Book Tour – May 6 – June 2
 
May 6 – Reading Addiction Blog Tours – Meet and Greet
May 7 – Logikal Blog – Guest Post/PROMO
May 9 – Kindle Obsessed – Guest Post/PROMO
May 10 – Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Interview/PROMO
May 12 – Bunny’s Reviews – Interview/PROMO
May 14 –My Reading Addiction – Review
May 16 – Texas Book Nook – Review
May 18- Playing Jokers – Review/Guest Post
May 20 – Bea’s Book Nook – Guest Post/PROMO
May 21 – Author Ever Leigh – PROMO
May 22 – Bibliophilia, Please – PROMO
May 24 – Must Read Faster– Guest Post/PROMO
May 26 –Mythical Books – Guest Post/PROMO
May 27 – Books and Needlepoint – Interview/PROMO
May 28 – My Cozie Corner– Review
May 30 – Faerie Tale Books – Review/Guest Post
May 31 – Noemi Betancourt- Review/Guest Post
June 2 – RABT Reviews – Review

Mike Phillips is author of The World Below and Reign of the Nightmare Prince. His short stories have appeared in ParAbnormal Digest, Cemetery Moon, Sinister Tales, Beyond Centauri, the World of Myth, Mystic Signals and many others. Online, his work has appeared in Lorelei Signal, Kzine, Bewildering Stories, Midnight Times, and Fringe. He is best known for his Crow Witch and Patrick Donegal series.

 mikephillipsfantasy.com

Excerpt

Magic sigils were hidden all over the city, but along the Riverwalk powers of earth and water converged. Magic here was strange and unpredictable, but always strong. A star was carved on the nearest of the old cottonwoods. It was ancient magic, made perhaps by the native tribes who once inhabited this place.

Hume could not guess what its purpose was. For all he knew, it would take him away to some desperate corner of the underworld to be forever enslaved. He did nothing to protect himself. He had to let events run their course.

Finding Lady Elizabeth proved impossible. If this stranger had information, then he would surrender himself to free his sister.

A breath of chill air interrupted his thoughts. He shivered.

It was his humanity giving him warning. People who didn’t know any better would attach some old wives’ tale to the feeling, but he was not so blinded by the mundane. No one tread on his future grave. Evil approached.

In the world outside the reach of the cottonwood, the sun escaped below the horizon. Night had come.

Darkness coalesced; growing deeper in this haven below the trees, gathering until the river and the bay and everything beyond the sphere of darkness was lost. A black bird flew to a nearby piling. The crow was mangy and looked only moments from death by old age. It ruffled its ancient feathers and stared at Hume, penetrating his mind.

Unafraid, he stared back, filling his thoughts with a variety of deaths the crow might suffer at his hand. The bird cawed angrily, its harsh voice a show of defiance.

“Let’s get on with it,” he said. “Sunset was an hour ago.”

“Nightfall is now,” snapped the bird.

“Point taken. My mistake.”

The crow’s voice was as harsh as its call. “Patience Hume, your eagerness does you no credit. A lesser being than I might take it as a sign of weakness, but no advantage will I press. I know what it is to have a loved one in danger.”

“Oh? So, is that why you are here? How nice.”

“Yes, I wish to help you, and I have other reasons.”

“What are they?”

“Patience, Hume. Patience” The crow laughed. “We’ll get to that later.”

“Lovely.”

Another crow flew to the piling. Soon the place within the dark was full of crows. They raced to the piling, circling Hume like a cyclone. He stood still, and though the impossibility of safety seemed assured, he wasn’t touch.

The birds fused together, forming something in the shape of a man. The man was covered in black feathers. He had a crow’s head with a sharp beak and beady eyes. A mantle of greater feathers ringed his neck.

“That’s a little much,” Hume said. “Who are you trying to impress?”

“I must admit I’ve always had the knack for the dramatic. As a show of trust I appear to you as my true self.”

“Does that make you a murder or a man?”

“Ha, ha, quite clever,” said the crow man. “I shall have to remember that one. Yes, quite clever indeed.”

LINKS TO BUY

Amazon Link

Barnes & Noble Link

Damnation Books Link

A week of reviews

Well folks, it looks as if our tour is coming to a close. Today’s review of Heroes and Hearts comes from Book Maven. Tomorrow Fairy Tale Books gives their review and on Friday we wrap up with RABT Reviews. Of course we still have the big announcement of who won BookRix’s major giveaway to look forward to next week and the release of book two of the Crystal Palace Chronicles: Descendants of Quendaris!

If you haven’t entered the big giveaway now’s the time!

Aaah!

You can also still enter the smaller (but still important) giveaway by clicking the rafflecopter link on the bar to your right.  Good luck to all!

Come along on a fantastic voyage!

So how are you enjoying the tour so far? Would you like another pillow? Coffee, tea? We’ve had a few hiccups but today we journey Inside BJ’s Head for a review of Heroes and Hearts and another chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a free copy of my eBook. Tomorrow the tour takes us to another review of Heroes and Hearts and an interview at The Serial Reader.

PROMO: Broken Faith by Brandy Nacole

Greetings and salutations! Today’s post is promoting the first book in a new Sci-fi/Fantasy series as part of Ms. Nacole’s Virtual Book Tour. Here is a post by Brandy Nacole herself about why she writes Fantasy:

5 reasons I write Fantasy

       So, what are five reasons I like to write Fantasy?  How about I narrow this down to five words instead: Seriously, what’s not to love?  I have been a fan of fantasy/paranormal books, movies, shows, and local myths since I was a little girl.  My first memory of the fantasy genre was with Interview with A Vampire.  I was four years old and my aunt, who’s just as big a fan as me if not more, was watching the movie on Halloween.  I don’t remember every detail of course, but I remember watching it with her and being totally enthralled.  From there it was R.L. Stine books, more Anne Rice, and so on. 

         I started writing when I was around 7 and while my writing wasn’t too farfetched with fantasy it was about a young boy and his pet alligator Sam.  They had all sort of adventures together.  Then as I aged, my writing became more involved with pure fantasy. 

         With Fantasy writing you can create the most unique of worlds and fill them with unique characters.  There doesn’t seem to be any line of ‘not possible’ when creating a Fantasy book.  Worlds can be made inside of worlds, powers can be limitless, battles and villains can be twisted, and romances can be epic. 

         With my Shadow World series, I wanted to reach these fantastic limitless possibilities.  My main character, Racquel, is a hybrid that is made up of four different Shadow lines.  She’s part lycan, witch, vampire, and shifter.  Sounds complex doesn’t it.  Well she is a complex character.  She’s also an outcast.  Her powers seem to be limitless and the Shadows not only consider her an abomination but they also fear her.  I also incorporated the Greek Gods with their creations.  Each line of Shadows has a Greek God that created them.  If it wasn’t for my love of Fantasy and the limitless ideas that come from creating such books, then I wouldn’t have had the chance to share the story of a unique girl like Racquel.

         With my Spiritual Discord series, I continued my grasp on the open possibilities.  Broken Faith, which is written so that the story alternates points of view, is about a fallen angel named Kayson who is from the lower realm of Heaven.  After being on the run since his fall, Kayson faces off with one of Hell’s hounds.  After barely escaping with his life, Kayson is found by Sabrina, a vampire who is a half-blood child.  This two unlikely beings work together to outsmart the very beings created to destroy them.  Because of fantasy, I get the chance to share this battle of faith and good will. 

         Fantasy gives readers an escape outside the everyday life, much like most stories.  The thing with Fantasy books, it’s something we just don’t experience on some level on a daily basis.  Now if vampires and shape-shifters start skulking the world, then Fantasy writers are going to have to step it up and reach out for a new level of fiction.  Until that day happens, readers and writers get to live out a world that isn’t our everyday hum bum routines and escape into a world filled with magic, love, rivals, and heart racing wonder.      

Brandy Nacole – Broken Faith – Virtual Book Tour

Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Date Published: April 2, 2013

This was it. The moment Heaven and Hell would clash. But which unearthly being would win? The Fallen Angel or the Hell Hounds?

Overtaken by fear, I close my eyes.

Kayson is a Fallen Angel who has spent decades running from the Hell Hounds

while searching for something that no one else believes can be so, not even God. Kayson is

determined to find a Blood Child. But when a hound finds Kayson first, he is sure his end has come.

Falon, Alpha of the Hell Hounds, destroyer of the blood children, and devoted believer in

his master’s plan, is bound and determined to drag Kayson back to Hell with him.

Sabrina is a Vampire, a half-breed created from one of Lucifer’s original blood children.

After years of hiding, Sabrina’s fate changes when she finds Kayson barely alive. Against her

instincts, Sabrina saves him. Now she and Kayson are both marked by the Hell Hounds.

Emma is an ordinary human, whose only problem is making ends meet, and getting over

the hurt caused by her untrustworthy brother. Her everyday problems become supernatural ones

when she finds Kayson and Sabrina hiding in her parent’s backyard shed.

Kayson, Sabrina and Emma are unlikely allies, thrown together by chance to fight against

the most powerful creatures of the underworld in order to follow their world-changing quest.

But will the broken faith of one break the faith of all?

Excerpt

When I turn, my heart skips a beat then begins pounding rapidly, as I’m surprised by a wet, pissed-off Sabrina standing right behind me.

“Jeez, do that again and you won’t have to worry about draining me dry. A nice heart attack will take care me.” I clutch my chest. Yeah, because that’s easing the race my heart is trying to win.

“Who ever said I was worried about draining you dry?” Sabrina says with a smug look on her face. She looks past me at the shed door. “How is he?”

Her fear for Kayson’s safety is obvious. For two people who just recently met, they sure do worry about one another a lot. And aren’t they supposed to be mortal enemies? None of this is making sense, but it doesn’t stop my jealousy from spiking.

“Still healing. It’s sad that he lost his powers when he fell.”

Sabrina nods in agreement but doesn’t say anything. Noting her bedraggled appearance, I’m intrigued to know what happened. “So, you try giving drowning a shot?”

Sabrina stares coolly back at me. “Why, need some pointers?”

Crossing my arms over my chest, I try mustering up an ounce of cool, biting back my retort I have ready on my lips. A truce has to be made between Sabrina and me if we are going to be in each other’s proximity.

“Look Sabrina, I know we haven’t got off to a good start, but heck, do you blame me?”

“Blame you for having a narrow-minded brain? Yes.”

I narrow my eyes at the beautiful vampire, whose now-clean dark blond hair reaches to her waist. Look what a good dunking does for a person. The wave of her hair frames her porcelain face, with eyes that hold a cold, calculating glint.

Virtual Book Tour April 15 – May 12
April 15- Reading Addiction Blog Tours – Meet and Greet
April 16 – My Cozie Corner – PROMO
April 17 –
April 19 – Pieces of Whimsy – PROMO
April 21 – The LUV’N – Interview/PROMO
April 22 – Michelle’s Paranormal Vault of Books – Review/Guest Post
April 23 – Noemi Betancourt – PROMO
April 24 –
April 27 – Wormy Hole – Interview/PROMO
April 29 –  Biaca2B – PROMO
April 30 – Addicted Readers – Review/Interview
May 1 – Books and Needlepoint – Review
May 2 – Love in a Book – Interview/PROMO
May 3 – Must Read Faster – Guest Post/PROMO
May 4 – Gimme the Scoop Reviews – PROMO
May 5 –
May 6 – Mythical Books – PROMO
May 7 – Faerie Tale Books – Review/Interview
May 9 – Pink Fluffy Hearts – Review
May 10 –
May 11 –
May 12 – RABT Reviews – Review

Brandy Nacole

Author Bio:
Brandy Nacole resides in Arkansas where her imagination runs wild. Her obsession is reading but her
passion is writing. She put her dream of becoming a writer on the back burner and went to college
to become a psychologist. Three years after endless classes in a field she only felt half satisfied with,
Brandy picked up her pen once again and wrote the outline to Uniquely Unwelcome. She finished out
her degree in psychology but traded her dream of writing for the degree and put psychology on the back
burner. Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends,
throwing around crazy ideas, and laughing through the crazy moments.

Weekend of Reviews

 

Good evening folks!

All stops on my tour this weekend will feature reviews of Heroes and Hearts. Today we visit with the good lady at Texas Book Nook, tomorrow’s review comes from Busy Mom Book Reviews who is also hosting a giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card and copy of Heroes and Hearts. Monday looks a bit more cheerful than usual as we stop at Feed My Need, For a Good Read for yet another chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card a copy of Heroes and Hearts.

Descendants of Quendaris, Book two of the Crystal Palace Chronicles and sequel to Heroes and Hearts, comes out in less than two weeks so if you haven’t picked up your copy of Heroes and Hearts just yet, get thee to Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, and Barnes and Noble!

Promo day on my virtual book tour

Today’s stop on my virtual book tour bring us to Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews. Take it away, Laurie!

FYI my posts the next few days may be a bit short as I’ll be out of town with my husband who will be taking part in the Defending Freedom Warrior Weekend event in Deland, Florida this weekend. As a Wounded Warrior, he will be participating in the tandem skydive as well as other events throughout the weekend. If you’re going to be in the area and have some free time, come on by and support these wonderful vets. Many events are free with proceeds from paid events going to the Wounded Warrior Project.